Venerable Master, Dharma Masters, good advisors, Amitabha!
My name is Guolan, and I come from Taiwan. I am remorseful for having created measureless offenses in the past, which led to my being pursued by my creditors in this lifetime during elementary school. For more than ten years afterwards, my life was difficult and I was always under the control of an invisible force. I suffered so much that I no longer wished to live. When I was thirty, an old cultivator told me to seek the guidance of a wise teacher and practice diligently. On the verge of a nervous breakdown, I started weeping in front of the portrait of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva as I prayed for the guidance of a wise teacher. That's how I came to know about the Venerable Master.
When I received my first copy of the Venerable Master s Instructional Talks, I read the entire book without pausing to rest. Afterwards, I acquired all the books and tapes of the Venerable Master's Sutra lectures and Dharma talks that I could possibly find, and I carefully read and listened to them. A reporter once asked the Venerable Master how he managed to convert young Westerners, who were so difficult to teach. The Venerable Master said he relied upon the Shurangama Mantra, the Great Compassion Mantra, and Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva. I reasoned that if even the Venerable Master did this, how much the more should I, an ordinary person? Since then I have worshipped Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, devoutly chanted the Great Compassion Mantra and the Shurangama Mantra, printed the Shurangama Mantra and the Shurangama Sutra, and diligently studied the Shurangama Sutra. Whether I am walking, standing, sitting, or lying down, I use the precepts to collect my thoughts, and the Shurangama Mantra never leaves my mind. I feel that I have a vajra sword that cuts through metal as if it were mud. I have been able to meet all challenges head on and resolve them. I constantly feel limitless shame and repentance, as well as gratitude.
Every time I develop a belligerent attitude, I always recall the Venerable Master's frequent remonstrance: "The fire of ignorance and the tiger-like spirit / Come from evil roots planted in past lives." "Do not wash others' dirty laundry." When I develop a tolerant attitude arises, I can resolve all the problems I encounter. I especially like the seventh section of the Shurangama Sutra, which explains the Shurangama Mantra very clearly. It mentions how the Shurangama Mantra can dispel the heavy karma that has no origin, just as hot water melts snow. All Bodhisattvas have relied upon the Shurangama Mantra to liberate all living beings in the worlds of the ten directions. When the Venerable Master explained the Shurangama Mantra, he said that even atomic bombs and hydrogen bombs will disintegrate upon encountering the Shurangama Mantra. In this world seething with the energy of killing, I hope that everyone will chant the Shurangama Mantra and use great compassionate and sincerity to dispel the calamities in the world.
Since I was a child, 1 was unable to ingest fish or meat. I felt uncomfortable eating them, so I always wanted to enter the vegetarian food business. The year I took refuge with the Venerable Master, I opened a vegetarian supermarket, which met with strong disapproval from my family. Luckily, some Buddhist friends offered their assistance. I was able to open one store by the strength of my devout faith in the Buddhadharma. Therefore, every morning when I went to work I would play the cassette of the Shurangama Mantra all the way until eleven or twelve at night when I got off work. I spent the whole day listening to the Shurangama Mantra. Every time when I face the 3:30 rush (for check clearing), I would sincerely chant the Shurangama Mantra, pay respects to the Buddha, and repent, and every difficulty that arose would be resolved. It was in this fashion with the help of the Shurangama Mantra that I was able to pay back all my debts in four years. I even opened a small vegetarian factory that produced assorted vegetarian canned foods, red-furred lichen, and seaweed paste. Four years later, my products were sold all over Taiwan. Every time I want to create a new product, the ideas just keep coming, and new products emerge and are very well received by the public.
I am very grateful for the blessings from the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and the good spirits who protect the Dharma, for they helped me to overcome my difficulties. As for the offenses I committed in the past out of ignorance, I will sincerely pay respects to the Buddha and repent. "When virtue is great, grievous offenses will melt away." Through constantly remembering the teachings of the Venerable Master, doing my best to practice charity, and sincerely reciting the Mantra every day, I could say I have finally dissolved my offense karma. Since then, I constantly remind myself that, "When one is not true at the time of planting causes, one will reap distorted results." I remind myself constantly not to make any more mistakes in cause and effect
I am very grateful to have met a teacher of such great wisdom, who has provided a bright lamp to guide me along the path of cultivation. Thank you all. Amitabha.
Venerable Master's Dharma Words
What is wisdom? It is a manifestation of selflessness. What is idle thinking? It is an indication of selfishness. Once selfishness takes hold, idle thoughts arise.